Online Program

Rape in active component and reserve/ national guard servicewomen: Deployed and non-deployed environments

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:20 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Anne Sadler, Ph.D., CADRE Research (151), Iowa City VAHealth Care Center, University of Iowa Department of Psychiatry, Iowa City, IA
Michelle Mengeling, Ph.D., CADRE Research (151), Iowa City VA Health Care System, Iowa City, IA
James Torner, Ph.D., College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Skyler Johnson, Ph.D., CADRE Research (151), Iowa City VA Health Care System, Iowa City, IA
Brenda M. Booth, PhD, Division of Health Services Research, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Objective: To determine if sexual assault in military (SAIM) rates are different by service (Active Component (AC) vs. Reserve/National Guard (RNG) or by deployment (e.g., deployed vs. never deployed). Methods: A cross-sectional study design used computer-assisted telephone interviews assessing socio-demographic, military and assault characteristics, and health outcomes.Defense Manpower Data Center provided a Midwestern sample of OEF/OIF servicewomen. Participants included currently serving (79%) and veteran (21%) servicewomen; 50% AC, 50% RNG; with three quarters (74%) ever deployed. Results: SAIM was reported by 18% of the 1337 participants. Servicewomen who were enlisted, serving in AC, and ever deployed were most likely to experience SAIM. However, SAIM was more likely to occur when not deployed than when deployed (15% vs 4%) Deployed women had served longer in the military (93 vs 72 months, p< .0001). Variables associated with SAIM occurring during deployed and non-deployed periods were identified. Conclusions: SAIM remains a public health concern for military women. While servicewomen who had been deployed were more likely to have experienced SAIM, these same servicewomen were most likely to report that the SAIM(s) occurred while not deployed. While findings seems contradictory, there are logical explanations, such as proportionately greater time spent in non-deployed settings. Risk factors and circumstances unique to deployed and non-deployed military environments must be considered by policy makers addressing primary prevention interventions for SAIM. Clinicians must be aware that concerns for personal safety are an important reality for servicewomen in their care during non-deployed states as well as deployed.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify risk factors for sexual assault in military unique to US military women in deployed and non-deployed environments. Describe implications of the influence of deployment and military environments on risk of sexual assault in military for policy makers and clinicians

Keyword(s): Sexual Assault, Veterans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator on multiple VA or DoD funded grants focused on the health and safety of military women. Among my scientific has been the identification of risk factors for violence during military service for both men and women and subsequent development of primary prevention interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.